Sunday, July 31, 2011

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Critical Psychiatrist Thomas Stephen Szasz

Thomas Stephen Szasz (1920) is a Hungarian born psychiatrist and academic. Since 1990 he has been Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, NY. He is a well-known social critic of the moral and scientific foundations of psychiatry, and of the social control aims of medicine in modern society, as well as of scientism. His books The Myth of Mental Illness (1960) and The Manufacture of Madness: A Comparative Study of the Inquisition and the Mental Health Movement (1970) set out some of the arguments with which he is most associated.
His views on special treatment follow from classical liberal roots which are based on the principles that each person has the right to bodily and mental self-ownership and the right to be free from violence from others, although he criticized the "Free World" as well as the communist states for their use of psychiatry and "drogophobia". He believes that suicide, the practice of medicine, use and sale of drugs and sexual relations should be private, contractual, and outside of state jurisdiction.

In 1973, the American Humanist Association named him Humanist of the Year and in 1979 he was honored with an honorary doctorate at Universidad Francisco Marroquín.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Living Exhibition: Artist Tyler Rowland

"After being a zebra for a year, I was ready to become a human again. Anticipating this return, I began to grow a beard six months prior to my planned conversion. My plan had originally been to become a mountain man or cowboy from the Wild West (circa 1850’s) but the more I thought about it I felt I had a unique opportunity -- I could become any human I wanted."
"I began my sixth installment of Artist’s Uniform on leap day February 29, 2008. Artist’s Uniform #6: The Year I Became Gustave Courbet and Was Not Only A Man But Created “Living Art” corresponded with my own interest (obsession!?) with Courbet, whom I had been exploring in my installation work and whose Realist Manifesto seemed to have a lot of meaning for the performance work as well. My wardrobe was made up of vintage and period reenactment-wear as well as an exact replica of the outfit Courbet is wearing in his 1854-5 painting The Artist’s Studio, meticulously handcrafted by my mother and me. 
The duration of AU #6 corresponded with Courbet’s retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City (Feb. 27 – May 18, 2008), which I frequented during my visits to the city. On May 16, 2008 (the 6th anniversary of the Artist’s Uniform project) the Courbet project came to an end."

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Anarchist Beret for Pirates

For an anarchist at heart it can't get much worse than this:
"A funny light weight beret that is completely reversible; showing the anarchist logo on one side, a pink Jolly Roger on the other".  
What can I say...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

More New Stock - the New Small Diameter Fina!

Slowly updating my way on the newly arrived stock. Mainly berets that have been in the South Pacific web shop for years now, but also a few new additions. 
Like the 260mm Boina Espinosa in Black and Navy Merino and the 244mm Boinas Elósegui Exposicion Fina - a small diameter beret (similar in size to the Exposicion Super Lujo 244 and the Basco Roma).
Spanish actor Paco Rabal gives a good impression of what these berets look like:
Pretty tight fitting berets and larger sized heads may have to stretch the rim a little to make it fit comfortably.

New Super Lujo's - Small Diameter with Leather Headband

Felipe Primero, 97
New stock at South Pacific Berets: Boinas Elosegui's top of the range Super Lujo's now in the most luxurious edition in a variety of sizes.
These berets were originally order on special request by a customer who enjoys the very small diameter beret, but in the best possible quality. Thinking of the success of the similar sized Basco Roma, I decided to have an additional two dozen made (they are not available in any hat shop, in or outside Spain - only on special order).
Not a beret to anyone's liking; these berets sit almost on the head without any flight (overhang), but are true beauties to see and feel. 
Of course: 100% Australian merino wool, impermeable (through ™Teflon treatment), satin ling and carrying the original embroidered Super Lujo-label. 
Available through the South Pacific Berets web site, or order directly from here:

Paco Rabal

Miguel Ruibal

Miguel Ruibal was born in 1955 in Montevideo, Uruguay.
Ruibal studied at the School of Fine Arts in Montevideo, was a student of maestro Miguel Angel Pareja and lived for years in Barcelona.
Ruibal exposed continuously since 1975, both in America and Europe.
Some of his works are on show at the Juan Manuel Blanes Museum in Montevideo. Currently, Ruibal works in his studio in Terrassa (Barcelona) and, together with Fernando Prats works on the I slang project.
Berets, or boinas, feature extensively in Ruibal's work.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Muammar Ghadafi and his Female Body Guards

A young Muammar Gaddafi with his hero, Gamal Abdel Nasser of Egypt
Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi (1942) is a Libyan revolutionary and the country's head of state from 1969 to the present day. Gaddafi became head of state after removing King Idris from power in a 1969 bloodless coup, after which he established the Libyan Arab Republic. His almost 42 years in power make him one of the longest-serving non-royal rulers in history. Gaddafi incorporated Arab socialist and Arab nationalist ideas into his political philosophy, which he published in The Green Book in 1975. In 1979 he relinquished the title of prime minister and was thereafter called the "Brother Leader and Guide of the Revolution" (no, I didn't make that up...).
During his rule the Libyan state was branded a pariah state by Western nations. A Dutch investigation concluded that Gaddafi had amassed a "billion-dollar empire" in the form of assets in, and from, an intercontinental company in the oil industry. It also claims that his assets are dispersed throughout much of Europe. Gaddafi had a strong interest in geo-political control, and was a firm supporter of OAPEC and led a Pan-African campaign for a United States of Africa. After the 1986 bombing of Libya and the subsequent 1993 imposition of United Nations (UN) sanctions, Gaddafi established closer economic and security relations with the West; cooperating with investigations into alleged Libyan acts of state-sponsored terrorism (subsequently paying compensation) and ending his nuclear weapons program, which resulted in the lifting of UN sanctions in 2003.
A young Gaddafi in his pre-clown years
In early February 2011 there were major political protests against Gaddafi's government following in the wake of demonstrations in Tunisia, Egypt, and other parts of the Arab world. The protests quickly turned into a civil war. Gaddafi vowed to "die a martyr" if necessary in his fight against rebels and external forces, saying that those rebelling against his government deserved to die. On 17 May 2011 the International Criminal Court issued a request for an arrest warrant against Gaddafi for crimes against humanity, which was approved on 27 June and a warrant was issued by the court.
Gaddafi with former PM Tony Blair (top) and Italian President Berlusconi (below)
Still, however legitimate this all may be, I do remember clearly the warm welcome the "Brother Leader" was given by Tony Blair, Italian president Berlusconi and French president Sarkozy - all frontrunners in the alliance to oust him now.
Anyway, all this has little to do with berets. It becomes interesting when we look at Gaddafi's all female body guard force - with beautiful berets.

Monday, July 25, 2011

El Beret Montgomery (@ 6.90 pesos)

This ad was published on 26 May, 1943, halfway into WWII. The Argentinean fashion store Harrods offered a black beret in Montgomery style to it's female clientele.  
The vegetarian (and sworn enemy of snuff and alcohol) Marshal Bernhard Law Montgomery became of bit of an idol after his successful campaign against "desert fox" Field Marshal Erwin Rommel  at the sand of El Alamein (close to the present day campaigns of the Brits in Lybia, of course) and Harrods had a good nose for what would do well with the women of Buenos Aires.

The Harrods version of the beret replaced Monty's famous two badges by one, but then, one only paid 6.90 pesos for it at the time.

From the blog of Ernesto Castrillón

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ramón María del Valle-Inclán y de la Peña

Ramón María del Valle-Inclán y de la Peña (1866 – 1936), Spanish dramatist, novelist and member of the Spanish Generation of 98 , is considered perhaps the most noteworthy and certainly the most radical dramatist working to subvert the traditionalism of the Spanish theatrical establishment in the early part of the 20th century. His drama is made all the more important by its influence on later generations of Spanish dramatists. Therefore, on the national theater day, his statue in Madrid receives the homage of the theatrical profession.
His early writings were in line with French symbolism and modernism; his later works became radical formal experiments. His political views changed from traditional absolutism (in Spain known as Carlismo) towards anarchism. This also caused him problems.
All his life he struggled to live up to his bohemian ideals, and stayed loyal to his steticist beliefs. During a row with a fellow writer his wrist was wounded and became infected, and he lost his arm.

In addition to being politically subversive, though, Valle-Inclán's plays often required staging and direction that went far beyond the abilities of many companies working in the commercial theatre, often featuring complex supernatural special effects and rapid, drastic changes of scene. For this reason, some of his works are regarded as closet dramas.
Due to a lack of translations his work is still largely unknown in the English-speaking world.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Daniel Vázquez Díaz

Paradoxically, Daniel Vázquez Díaz started his education in The Official School of Commerce in Seville, which he very soon gave up to dedicate himself to his true vocation – painting. In 1903 he moved to Madrid with an intention to enter the Academy of San Fernando. His first attempt failed. Promptly, he started introducing into the intellectual circles of the city. From 1906 until 1918 he stays in Paris, although never loses contact with Spain.  
In Paris he makes acquaintance with the works of impressionists, postimpressionists, nabis and symbolists; he starts displaying his works in the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon d’Automne and the Salon de la Société des Artistes Francais and holds his first individual exhibitions.
On returning to Madrid in 1918, he organizes his first individual exposition in the Salón Lacaste and becomes a subject of sharp criticism. In 1920 he exhibits in Bilbao with the Association of the Basque Artists; in 1921 in the Palace of Libraries and Museums of Madrid he holds an interesting display that represents the commencement of the contemporary Spanish art, the so-called return to the order. After turning to the ultraist movement he resides in Portugal and begins his participation in the Society of the Iberian Artists.
His work achieves an indisputable success, acknowledged by obtaining a Chair in the School of Fine Arts of San Fernando at the beginning of the 1930’s.

After the Civil War in Madrid, starts a prolific period of expositions, which will make him one of the most well known artists of the regime.

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Some beautiful vintage photographs found on this blog, 70.8%.
The year is 1912, the photographer Charles l'Hermitage and the location Douarnenez, in Brittany's department of Finistère. 
Look at those beautiful, oversized berets!
Thanks, Corto

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Arnold van Gennep

Arnold van Gennep (1873 – 1957) was born in Ludwigsburg, Kingdom of Württemberg. At the age of six his parents divorced and he and his mother moved to France where she later married a French doctor who moved the family to Savoy.
Van Gennep is best known for his work regarding rites of passage ceremonies and his significant works in modern French folklore. He is recognised as the founder of folklore studies in France. His major work in French folklore was Le Manuel de folklore français contemporain (1937-1958).
The photo shows Arnold van Gennep at the age of 80 years lighting the fire of St. John.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Artist and Beret Aficionado Mark Adams (and Walther)

It's been said "find something that you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life."  That notion has worked for Mark Adams for nearly forty years.  From his early flirtation with cubist abstractions past his heavily Dutch influenced figurative work of the early 70's into the theatrical world of dancers and mimes and onto the recontexturalized appropriated fashion series of the late 80's and all the while including commissioned portraits -- in the words of Jerry Garcia:  " What a long, strange trip it's been!"
Mark Adams is a true beret aficionado and has been for decades, against the tides, opinions and sniggering comments of the beret-ignorant that form such a large part of the population. I have read and heard some great beret related stories from Mark and take the liberty to quote one from his blog below:
Uncle Bob with Beret, by Mark Adams
"I have spoken of my dear Uncle Bob in previous blog entries. Mentor, friend, patron, it was he who long ago bestowed upon me my first beret. I have worn one since I was 16. Coming to grips with looking like a cliché in my teens was tough, but my friends soon got used to it. When Bob comes to Baltimore for a visit, he, too, is wont to wear one, which makes for some sniggering and tittering among the people. For my 50th birthday, my wife bought a gross of black berets and gave them out to my friends. Seeing 80 plus people dressed in black turtle necks and berets was something else. It looked like a giant poetry slam from the 50’s or a Maynard G. Krebs convention. Very cool, daddy-o."
Walther, the drunken Dachshund